As I look at my results from the Life Style Inventory my primary thinking style that I scored the highest in was the affiliative style at 83%. As I looked deeper at this style it fit me to a tee. I have always been warm and sincere because I always try to see the best in other people. My interpersonal relations with peers and subordinates alike have allowed me to be trusted and liked by others. This has helped me to be both diplomatic and tactful in my decisions as a manager. My genuine concern for people and ability to accept change easily has placed me in a leadership position many times just because I am able to listen and feel that people are more important than things.
Next we will be looking at my backup personal thinking style and I had a two way tie between Self- Actualization and Humanistic- Encouraging at 75%. In the Humanistic-Encouragement thinking style I love to teach and enjoy sharing knowledge with others. I am very supportive of others and encourage others to strive for excellence and to think for themselves. As a good listener I am supportive of others and always willing to take time with people. Now with Self-Actualization I am a creative thinker and can communicate easily and very aware of my own feelings.
I tend to be optimistic and realistic with my judgments and I have a high level of personal integrity. As I look at these three thinking styles I completely agree with them as my strengths. I have always been the equalizer and the manager called upon to best deal with conflict. I value my employees, focus upon perceptions, and know their needs. Honor and Integrity direct my morale fiber and I hold respect as being the most important element that people need in their lives. These styles are all important for training and developing a strong working team and have made me valued as a good leader and well thought of by my peers.
When I at look at any of these thinking styles that may be limiting me I would have to turn towards Approval. I feel that I can be overly trusting too fast and too agreeable with others opinions. Whether you are overly seeking approval or accepting others values too much this style can work against you and be called being too generous to a fault. I feel that I would like to have better control upon being overly sympathetic with people. I have the ability to give people too many chances to improve or correct their behavior when in all actuality it would have been better to have cut our losses after the first counseling session failed. Giving an employee a fair chance is fine but when I go too far it can appear like favoritism or special treatment.
If the employees know that you are overly sympathetic they will also play to this weakness to get out of the hot seat. The team likes you and shows approval on the surface but really they do not respect you and view you as a push over. I sometimes fight this behavior because there is a fine line between the perception of not caring and being not sympathetic enough and being overly sympathetic to a fault. I always know that you cannot please everyone as a good leader and some may even oppose you, but if upper management sees you as being too soft and overly sympathetic then you are not taking care of the business.
Impact on Management Style:
When I think of my primary and back up styles of thinking I can see the affiliative style having me motivate my team through using praise and friendliness. This can help me in the planning phase by getting valuable input from my team through building trust and meaningful relationships that are reciprocated. This helps us to feel like a team and make informed decisions from data collected by our team and helps us to build a sound plan of action. Through self-actualization I would use my sound judgment and optimistic and realistic nature to set solid goals. When making company plans my humanistic-encouragement style would have me utilize my knowledge of the company’s needs and the teams needs to make good plans. Being a good listener also makes planning a lot easier.
With my ability to develop and teach others and listening to my team while easily adapting to change I am able to better organize my team by setting SMART goals and using my communication skills to keep my team well informed. By thinking outside of the box and using my creative and original thinking skills I will be able to keep all of my team on the same page with our eye on the target of success.
My primary and backup styles give me an excellent leadership skillset in that I listen and set own goals, but I also understand how people feel and make sound judgments. My genuine concern for others and communication skills not only give me great leadership skills but my ability to use my intuition to read people allows for proactive decisions to be made. Perhaps it is my ability to be diplomatic and tactful and see the best in others that allows for me to be respected and well thought of as a leader.
Some people use intimidation and threats to control their team but giving them respect and a sense of ownership of their job allows my coaching and development style to allow peer pressure to control our team. The ability to set common goals and encourage our team to think for themselves, gives ownership and control through respect, honor, and integrity. Never asking my team to do what I am not willing to do myself and giving them the resources and tools needed to be successful keeps the respect and lines of communication open.
Genesis of Personal Style:
If I was to critically evaluate what has contributed the most to my personal styles it would have to be my family and growing up in the restaurant business. Always being in the public eye and dealing with guests face to face gave me a comfort at an early age of being in front of people and taking the time to listen and enjoy people. I was in the entertainment business and learned how to set goals and run a business by watching the controllable costs and giving quality service so that our guests would return. I developed understanding, humility, confidence, and personal integrity from my family. Growing up in my community and having great friends and families really made a big difference with being sincere, warm, and open. It was sports and Boy Scouts that offered discipline, commitment, and goals to my life. From my relationships built in high school and the Navy to the relationships built in business I continue to learn and strive to improve my styles to compliment my ability to lead.
Conclusion and Reflection:
As I look at my Constructive skills I see how my developments of Affiliative, Humanistic-Encouragement, and Self-Actualization styles have all contributed to my ability to be a good leader. My intuitive ability to read behavior and develop teams is second nature to me and my ability to listen and be real to my team has earned me their respect. Now my Passive and Defensive styles show me that dependent and conventional may be an area to watch out for but I felt that approval was the area that concerned me the most.
Specifically it may be too easy to become overly sympathetic and this could lead to being overly generous to a fault. Looking at my Aggressive and Defensive Styles I look at oppositional and competitive styles and giving me the ability to question everything and always inspect everything before making a decision, be the best at what we do, and set the benchmark of our industry. I feel that the LSI shows us our strengths and opportunities and while we are always striving to improve our behaviors we must look at our beliefs in why we find our behavior acceptable and seek to make changes here, because in order to improve one’s behavior we must change our beliefs first.
I feel that I would like to improve upon being less sympathetic and watch my procrastination by setting clear boundaries a staying to the specific rules. It is important for me not to put things off for tomorrow if I can do it today. I also would like to not get overly involved in team members personal issues that are affecting their work. This exercise helped me to look closely at how other styles can overshadow the positives of other styles and be counterproductive.
This has helped me because as I see that several of my styles help me to be a good leader but now I have a better understanding on what other styles can limit my constructive styles ie, if I have a high affiliative and a high power style then I would desire to have close friendships but try to control and dominate these friendships which will result in a negative relationship. Overall this has been a great tool for my future in management and beter understanding my thinking and behavior process.
Courtney from Study Moose
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